Fachin maintains fine for Nikolas Ferreira for fake news against Lula

Fachin maintains fine for Nikolas Ferreira for fake news against Lula
Fachin maintains fine for Nikolas Ferreira for fake news against Lula
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São Paulo – Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Edson Fachin rejected an appeal by deputy Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) against the decision of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) that condemned him for disseminating false news in the 2022 electoral campaign against the then candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT). In a decision on March 26, released this Tuesday (2), the case rapporteur, by denying the request, maintained the fine with the payment of R$30,000.

Since March 2023, when the Electoral Court decided, by majority, to convict Nikolas for irregular propaganda, the parliamentarian’s defense has been taking place. In May of the same year, she had already lost an appeal at the TSE and appealed to the STF. Fachin, however, rejected the request, pointing out procedural issues. According to the reporting minister, the appeal did not meet the formal requirements set out in law to continue processing.

Fachin highlighted that the TSE considered that Nikolas had violated electoral rules. And he highlighted that the understanding was based on the Elections Law and court resolutions. At the time, the TSE judged, at the request of President Lula’s campaign, a video with false information, published days before the 2022 second round, in which Ferreira stated that the PT governments had embezzled R$242.2 billion. Resources that, according to him, could have been applied to infrastructure to face the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Known’ for fake news at TSE

The material had around 1.5 million views and made use of a resource widely used by Bolsonarism to attack opponents: out-of-context reporting. The recording also insinuated that the party and Lula were to blame for the deaths from the pandemic, as the party had diverted health resources. Lawyers for the PT coalition challenged the publication, pointing out the use of “fraudulent numbers and information” in the TSE. The objective, according to the defense, was to induce voters to believe that, if Lula were elected, there would be confiscation of the population’s goods and other financial assets.

Nikolas, through his lawyers, claimed, however, that the content of the video was “limited to reproducing public and notorious facts”. And that there was no disinformation, but “exercise of the right to freedom of expression”. Which was countered by the TSE and Fachin. The case rapporteur also highlighted in the final decision that it is not up to the Supreme Court to review the Electoral Court’s conclusions. Nor should the facts and evidence be analyzed again through an extraordinary appeal.

Last year, Nikolas Ferreira was also convicted of releasing a video accusing Lula of encouraging the use of drugs by children and teenagers. By majority, at the time, the ministers decided that the content of the video went beyond legal limits and condemned the parliamentarian. When the video was released, Lula’s coalition filed a representation with the TSE, which ordered the withdrawal of the fake news donate. Parliamentarians Carla Zambelli (PL-SP), Eduardo Bolsonaro (PL-SP) and senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ) were also condemned for spreading this false news against Lula.

Editor: Clara Assunção

The article is in Portuguese

Brazil

Tags: Fachin maintains fine Nikolas Ferreira fake news Lula

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